Nabataean Red Terracotta Bowl


A finely modelled Nabataean red terracotta shallow ‘Egg-shell’ bowl. The vessel is further embellished with a light cream pigment which has been applied to the dish in the form of a continuous band around the rim. The vessel displays the characteristic of the bright orange colour in Nabataean pottery caused by the high level of iron in the clay.

A crack runs through the base of the item, this most likely appeared during the last stages of production.

Date: Circa 1st – 2nd Century AD
Provenance: From an important collection of Near Eastern pottery formed by a gentleman, deceased, before 1988; passed by descent to his family in London and Geneva.
Condition: Good Condition, minor crack to the base.


SKU: SA-81 Category:

The Nabataean tribes first encroached upon Jordan and the surrounding area sometime in the 6th century BC. Thought of originally as a nomadic people they settled in the area, existing as an autonomous kingdom until the 2nd century AD, when they were defeated by the Romans. Since the 1st century BC, the Nabateans developed a specific and characteristic style in their pottery production, without any reference to the Hellenistic artistic tradition. Characterised by bright red terracotta and fine modelling, Nabataean pottery usually displays painted decorations and a smooth and matte finishing. Many different shapes have been recovered, including huge jars, pots, flacons for storage of perfumes and ointments, and bowls. One of the most interesting and most recognisable aspects of Nabatean terracotta wares is the thinness of the vessels’ walls, known as egg-shell vessels. Such vessels, featuring a thickness of 1-3 mm and a metallic hardness, were mostly shallow open bowls, extremely difficult to be potted on the potter’s wheel. With the Roman conquest of the area around 150 AD, Nabataean pottery production started losing its thinness and polychrome decoration, becoming more crude and simple.

Weight 131.2 g
Dimensions W 14 x H 3.4 cm



Pottery and Porcelain

Reference: For Similar: The Metropolitan Museum, Item 67.246.35

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